Craig Revel Horwood reveals how Strictly might handle Bruno Tonioli absence

He is confident that Bruno Tonioli's absence will only be temporary.

Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli are judges on BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood has suggested that Bruno Tonioli will return to the hit BBC One competition following a potential absence from this year’s series due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Tonioli has been on the judging panel since the show began, but also appears annually on the US version titled Dancing with the Stars, usually flying between the two countries each week.

Of course, due to travel restrictions made necessary by the coronavirus pandemic, that might well not be possible at this point in time.

As a result, Tonioli might not be appearing on the upcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing, but fans can seemingly rest assured that he won’t be off the show forever.

Fellow judge Revel Horwood appears certain that Tonioli will return for future editions of the show, implying that temporary guest judges could be used in the interim.

“They might throw guest judges in for fun,” he told the Daily Star. “Then when everything’s back to normal, Bruno can make his triumphant return!”

Strictly is no stranger to adding famous faces to its expert panel when necessary, as Dancing with the Stars champions Alfonso Ribeiro, Jennifer Grey and Donny Osmond have all answered the call in years gone by.

The Greatest Dancer judge Cheryl has been one of the names rumoured to take the seat as Bruno Tonioli’s replacement, but Revel Horwood seems to have quashed such speculation.

He added: “Cheryl. Lovely girl, but I don’t think it will happen.”

Strictly Come Dancing has a tricky series ahead, as complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic have meant that professionals and contestants face lengthy quarantines before taking part.

However, if the BBC can pull it off, there’s also the potential for it to be the most meaningful edition yet, offering some light-hearted stability in the lives of fans and reportedly the show’s first ever same-sex pairings.

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Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One later this year. If you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our TV Guide